8 Cheap and Simple Front Yard Landscaping Ideas

Quaint cottage garden with vintage white picket fence

Heidi Patricola/istockphoto

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Quaint cottage garden with vintage white picket fence
Heidi Patricola/istockphoto

Curb Appeal

Neighbors have been dissing each other for their “slovenly” front yards as early as the 19th century. Back in the day, yards were an extension of one’s house, but they were also “an outward and public presentation of the dwelling’s occupants” — their class, their character, even their morals. While homeowners maybe aren’t as hoighty toighty as they were in the 1800s, Americans still love their manicured yards (case in point: “curb appeal”). If you fall into that camp but can’t afford a landscaper or gardener to spruce up your lawn, we’ve got eight budget front yard landscaping ideas that won't break the bank.

Related: Cheap Patio Paver Ideas When You’re on a Tight Budget

Lupine on the Maine Coast
white clover flowers. Dutch clover on lawn in spring or summer garden. floral background. Blooming ecology nature landscape
Алексей Филатов/istockphoto
Mixed River Rock and Red Sandstone Landscaping Feature
eyecrave productions/istockphoto

Install a Walkway

By using gravel or stepping stones — both cheap, low-maintenance materials — you can install a functional path in your yard. Beyond buying pavers and/or gravel, you’ll need to clear out the area, lay and level the stones, and add builders sand or gravel.

Related: Where to Buy Plants Online

Suburban house in autumn

Plant a Tree

If your front yard seems a bit barren, add a focal point by planting a tree. As long as you have some patience and purchase a young tree, this will be a budget-friendly way to upgrade your lawn. Just be mindful where you plant since tree roots can interfere with sewer lines.

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Perfect Modern Day Shingle Style Craftsman Bungalow

Try Xeriscaping

Thanks to climate change, xeriscaping is hot in drought-stricken regions across the U.S. This environmentally conscious landscaping technique relies on slow-growing, drought-resistant plants that require minimal irrigation. To optimize your xeriscaped yard, you’ll want to plant drought-tolerant plants, prevent runoff, and use plenty of mulch.

Summer cottage at the lake with wild flowers garden surrounding

Start a Cottage Garden

If you prefer a wilder, more naturalistic look, you could convert your front yard into a cottage garden. Unlike a strictly landscaped yard, cottage gardens embrace a bit of chaos with an abundance of long-lasting annuals.

Close-up image of wooden window box with pink flowering cyclamens, heather (Erica), Pernettya (Gaultheria mucronata) and herbs, windowsill, window frame in front garden

Build Window Boxes

For homeowners looking for a small-scale project, a few well-placed window boxes are an easy way to elevate your front yard. Although you can buy flower beds for cheap — plastic window boxes sell for as low as $3 — you can also make them yourself.

Bluebird Bathing
Edward Palm/istockphoto

Add Accents

While you might want to stay away from kitschy garden gnomes, pink flamingos, and expensive water features, a tasteful garden accent can make your front yard pop. One functional go-to garden ornament? A birdbath